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Russian K-4386 Typhoon-VDV (VS-014) 1:35


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Russian K-4386 Typhoon-VDV (VS-014)

1:35 Meng via Creative Models Ltd

 

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The buzzword MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected is a key feature of modern Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), with the Allies learning hard lessons from their operations in the Gulf, where HUMVEEs and even Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) were ripped apart by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) left by insurgents, killing and injuring many in the process.  The lessons haven’t been lost on any major army, and since 2010 the Russians have been developing the Typhoon project to produce a line of MRAPs to protect their troops during transit, using common components such as engine, suspension and electronics to make a range of vehicles for specific operations.

 

The KamAZ-53949 is a 4-wheeled armoured patrol carrier on which the K-4386 is based, which shares the modern design, angled undersides, protective seats and use of composite components, adding a large Remote Control Weapons Station (RCWS) that mounts a 30mm auto-cannon along with a coaxial machine gun on one side and grenade launchers on either side of the main weapon.  As well as the mine protection, the windows are all bullet-proof, with seating for five in the passenger compartment, and three crew,  capable of 80mph on metalled surfaces, with adjustable height suspension allowing a relatively high speed over rougher terrain, assisting with infil. and exfil. operations immensely.  This variant is for the Russian airborne forces, the VDV (Vozdushno-Desantnye Rossii), they of the stripy tshirts, so is also air-deployable to maximise its capability.

 

The Kit

This is a brand-new tooling from our friends at Meng, only trailing behind the real vehicle’s deployment by a short while.  As usual with Meng, the kit arrives in a compact box with their traditional satin finish and a nice painting of the type on the front.  Inside are five sprues and two separate hull parts in a light grey styrene, a clear sprue, four flexible black tyres, four small springs, a short run of 8 poly-caps (not pictured), a fret of nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE) brass containing just the radiator grille, a small decal sheet, and the instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear, all bagged separately to resist chaffing in transit.  One word of caution is that the springs are loose within the turret shell bag, and these small items could be easily lost if you open the bag incautiously, so I have put them in a ziplok bag with the PE to keep them safe.  Meng have produced partial interior for the crew and passenger areas, with a lot of detail moulded-in, and sensible use of sliding moulds to improve detail and reduce unnecessary parts, which sometimes elicit cries of “over-engineering” from some quarters.  The clear parts are especially clear, although I miss the days when you would receive them with a tint of blue/green that gave the impression of the thickness of a piece of laminated bullet-proof glass.  It’s not a major issue, but I really liked the look of them and wish they’d bring it back.

 

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Construction begins with the angled boat-style lower hull, onto which the suspension and drive-shafts are fitted over a number of steps, resulting in the suspension able to move by leaving the arms unglued.  The axles stubs are snapped into place at the ends of the swing-arms, with armoured covers fitted over the central section, with the front bumper/fender, steering linkage, rear cross-brace and the braking system fitted next.  The struts have the working springs slid over them and are then slotted into the lower hull floor, with a quarter turn locking them into place in the receivers and the big mudflaps fitted while the hull is upside down - this gives the suspension some realistic bounce.  The tapered lower hull with the axles is attached to the underside of the floor, and the four wheels with two-part hubs trapping a poly-cap have the tyres pushed over the lips, then are pushed into place on the ends of the axles.

 

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Attention turns to the interior, with the drivers and co-driver’s seats first to be built from three parts each including the long protective supports that prevent spinal injury from intense explosions under the hull.  These are glued to the floor of the crew cab, then a near-vertical steering column with central gear-selector between the seats are both added, to be joined by the dashboard with instrument binnacle that has decals that give it plenty of visual interest and realism.  The two pedals attach behind, then the trim panel is added to provide the attachment to the floor.  That sub-assembly is installed behind the engine compartment and it is joined by the five wall-mounted three-part passenger seats in the rear.  The uneven number of seats is due to the remote turret’s “basket”, which sprouts from the floor in a tapering enclosure that has a monitor screen and control box on its side, with decals for both the screen and the side of the equipment box, the former having a silhouette of a trio of 'Tangos' about to be blown to bits, plus another decal for the buttons around the MFD (Multi-Function Display).  This is inserted into the floor in preparation for the turret fitting later.

 

The lower hull has a set of tanks on the sloped sides, with handed duplicates on the opposite side, but the numbering on the instructions is a little unclear here, only noting one part number per tank, although as the parts are next to each other on the sprue it’s not difficult to resolve.  The interior of the upper hull is painted white, and the two-layer bullet-proof glazing is glued carefully into the windscreen frames, the outer part giving it the bulky look that typifies the MRAP breed.  The front grille has vertical slots, which are backed by the single PE part that has fine mesh where needed and solid sections for gluing to the rear of the plastic part.  Clear lenses are inserted into the depressions on each side of the grille, with the LEDs depicted by a ring of small recesses around a larger centrral one, ready for highlighting with a little careful painting.

 

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The two-layer doors are essentially a very similar shape, but the rear one has the window almost totally closed over by armour panels, with just the smallest of observation windows and a thick chunk of bullet-proof glass behind them, plus pull-handles and locking mechanism added below.  The crew doors have larger glazing panels and more standard handles and latches, plus a four-part door mirror for each of them, for which you’ll need to source some shiny surface, using a Molotow chrome pen, or the new Liquid Mirror from Stuart Semple which I’ll be trying out soon.  The back door is fitted to the rear bulkhead, and along with an internal equipment box slides onto guides on the upper hull together with the front grille.  The back door is flanked by a pair of panniers that act as passenger protection for them as they leave the bus, for a few steps at least, which can be crucial if you’re loaded down with gear.  They are both made up from a number of parts including rear light clusters that need painting, and they then slide into the rear of the hull, butting up against the rear bulkhead.  The deep-wading muffler runs up the starboard A-pillar with a quartet of windscreen wipers added in a fairing over the top of the screen and a pair of stop-ends finishing them off.  A pair of bullet-proof observation windows are glued into place on the sides of the main compartment, which can then be dropped onto the chassis with no glue applied to the turret ring base.  More accessories are added in the shape of a towing bar, aerial base, grab rails on the diagonal roof edges, stowage rails along the waist, crew steps at the rear and sides, then a turret ring adapter on the roof.

 

Turrets are fun in my estimation, with this one having an almost complete outer, that has four lift-eyes on the roof and six grenade launchers on the mantlet face.  Inside is the pivot point for the 7.62mm coax MG attached to the side with a poly-cap inside for later.  The main gun has a semi-cylindrical mantlet with two axles on the opposing flat sides, attached to the turret base by a pair of pivot-points that again have poly-caps inside them to allow the gun to elevate.  The turret is closed up and the 30mm 2A42 autocannon barrel is shrouded and has a TV box on top, with the same process except for the top box, for the 7.62mm PKTM machine gun.  The MG slips into its slot and is retained by the poly-cap, while the main gun is glued in place in the mantlet, completing the build, save for twisting the turret into place on its bayonet fitting.

 

 

Markings

There are two decal options in the box, which is fair because it has barely seen service.  One is Russian green, while the other has a tri-tonal faceted camouflage scheme, which is the more exciting of the two.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • Army 2017 International Forum, Kubinka, Moscow, 2017
  • Russian Generic Tri-colour Camouflage

 

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Decals are printed in China with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

Conclusion

After their Gaz Tiger, this is a welcome addition to their Meng Russian/Soviet product line, with lots of detail moulded-in that is everything we have come to expect from them.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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15 hours ago, Mike said:

I miss the days when you would receive them with a tint of blue/green that gave the impression of the thickness of a piece of laminated bullet-proof glass.  It’s not a major issue, but I really liked the look of them and wish they’d bring it back.

I agree, it's a shame they don't seem to include tinted glazing anymore. You can get a set of tinted self-adhesive stickers from SX-Art to replicate the effect, complete with a pair of mirrored foil stickers for the door mirrors, something else that Meng used to include but don't seem to that often now.

 

Andy:cat:

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Even easier to use the Alclad Armoured Glass paint ALC-408 to paint the clear parts to get that greenish tinge.

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2 hours ago, Mike said:

Or you could buy a length of this that's available in a few colours, and cut the parts yourself :hmmm:

Good point. I'd seen that film on ebay a while back, then totally forgotten about it. Thank for the reminder👍

 

Andy:cat:

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